Trail Reporters

The council secretary in Ukanafun local government area, Mr. Ime Atakpa, who is also nicknamed ‘Strong,’has been shot dead this morning by suspected assasins.

Sources said, he was shot at his home in Ukanafun, where he was rushed to the hospital after being fired on, but gave up on the way.

Speaking with the police public Relations officer in Akwa Ibom, DSP Ikechukwu, the police image maker could not confirm the assasination, as he promised to get back to our Reporter.

Recollect that, some days ago, a Reporter in Uyo, Divine Sam, had written on the leadership tussle in the council, excerpts below:

The Transition Committee Chairman of Ukanafun Local Government Council Barr. Abasiono Udomfu who intended to toe a war path with the governor Deacon Udom Emmanuel by delaying to swear in a new secretary to occupy the office which he [ Udomfu] occupied earlier as was instructed by the Governor.

Sequel to the emergence of Obong Ime Atakpa as the new secretary, Barr. Udomfu was still relevant as Council secretary.

Obong Ime Atakpa through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to the Ukanafun Council boss Honorable Barr. Abasiono Udomfu ordering him to swear-in Obong Ime Atakpa as transition Secretary of Ukanafun Local Government Area.

When our reporter interacted with one of the former Chairmen of the area who refused his name to be mentioned, he hinted that Barr. Udomfu did not intend to swear in a successor but was receiving alert every month from same office considering the fact that he was the immediate past secretary of the council before climbing the chairmanship ladder.

The source alleged that, the immediate past Commissioner for Education Hon. Aniekan Akpan was engaged in fighting dirty to ensure the swearing in of a new council secretary.

He also alleged that the immediate past Education Commissioner Elder Aniekan Akpan was responsible for the affliction and political crises engulfing Ukanafun Local Government.

“the problem here is that when the Chairman received the letter sent to him by the Governor asking him to swear-in Obong Atakpa (politically known as ‘Strong’) as the Secretary of the transition, that the news reached Hon. Aniekan Akpan also accused of having his own faction in Ukanafun L.G.A. Aniekan convened an emergency meeting which according to the source was held at the residence of the immediate past lawmaker of the area in Uyo with Honorable Udomfu and other members of their faction”.

The source said that Akpan advised Barr. Udomfu not to swear-in Obong Atakpa as Council Secretary with reasons that the said secretary is not a member of his faction, claiming that Atakpa becoming Council Secretary, will be a threat to the transition boss Barr. Udomfu and will seek to know the exact amount received by the council boss as monthly allocations.

This Paper learnt that the Transition Committee Chairman fixed the swearing in of the new secretary but stayed away from same, after Obong Atakpa had already invited family, friends, youths and women groups and political class who turned up en mass to participate in the occasion.

Barr Udomfu according to the source, later arrived the council premises by 5:45pm, asked everyone to go home, with excuses that he was at the International women’s day celebration in Uyo and later proceeded to have a meeting with the Governor which occupied all his time and therefore postponed the swearing-in exercise to the following day.

Another source who is an indigene of Ukanafun said that, even as at the shifted day, the Chairman also turned down the swearing-in of the Secretary.

“As I am talking to you now, this large number of people came out here since 9am as he (Udomfu) directed us. But to my greatest surprise, he came and told us stories about trying to find out where the appointment letter came from. But we all know that he is doing what his political godfather directed him to do which is so uncalled for, and this is the second time people came out like this and the swearing in is not done” he said.

When our reporter visited the Chairman’s office he was not in. Meanwhile, a member of the transition committee told our reporter that the Chairman did not inform any member about the swearing-in “I mean none of us is aware of this swearing-in issue. The Chairman has not given us any invitation letter, neither has he sent any text message to us, we only hear from people. We don’t know what he is trying to do and why he is doing this” he added.

The transition Chairman rescheduled the event for three times since receiving the notification letter from the State government. The Source said, the Chairman of council is not comfortable with the appointment of Chief Atakpa and has decided to dare the state government on the matter.

Recollect that, the transition committee Chairman was the secretary of council before his elevation as the transition Chairman.
Few days ago, the Secretary to Ukanafun Local Government Council Obong Atakpa was finally sworn-in which was as a result of the intervention by the Honorable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Udo Ekpenyong.

Finally, when The Transition Committee Chairman, Barrister Udomfu picked his phone he said, ‘’The immediate past Commissioner for Education, Honorable Aniekan Akpan is not a backyard politician whereby he could compromise or commiserate with an unlawful practice; he is a straightforward personality whereby his quality cannot be blackmailed by hungry politicians”.

Udomfu said, “As a Lawyer I have the right to investigate the letter which was signed by the Honorable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. If I didn’t want to swear-in my Secretary, I don’t think anybody can force me, but I implore the people of Ukanafun Local Government Area in particular and Akwa Ibom State in general to join hands and support the Government of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and forget about the habit of blackmail which does not yield any merit for the society”.

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